Archive | March, 2012

Back in Action

25 Mar

Today was my first run since 26.2 last Sunday! It already feels like forever ago…I ran an easy 6 on the treadmill (which I haven’t done in a while), and it felt amazing to be back on my feet. This week has been crazy busy, but it’s had some great highlights, including…

  • Signing up for a free yoga class at the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens (see pic below):
  • Doing the “Lady Gaga Workout” at 11:00 pm last night with my roommate Amanda. Talk about an epic energy boost!
  • Getting my travel guide and information packet for my Ghana research fellowship this summer!
  • Trying out a delicious new breakfast creation – chocolate chip Vitamuffin topped with cashew butter. YUM 🙂
  • Going to Urth Caffe in Santa Monica – definitely one of my fav restaurants!
  • Seeing Cirque du Soleil OVO at the Santa Monica Pier with my family. I think this experience is best summed up as “Guy doing handstand on unicycle…while on a tightrope!” Enough said. In addition to the amazing acrobatics, the insect costumes were fantastic. It brought back great memories of dressing up as a spider for Halloween 3 years in a row!

I think that just about sums it up. I’m already counting down the days until summer!

Check out this beautiful garden…I will be getting my Zen on here in a few weeks 🙂

Marathon Blues

22 Mar

I’m not quite back to running yet (still trying to master sitting down and standing up)…but this quote got me inspired to start up again.

“A perfect run has nothing to do with distance. It’s when your stride feels comfortable. You’re on your toes trying to push it…You know you’re at one with yourself and the environment. You’re a little more alive than before you started.”

-Sean Astin

In attempt to combat the post-marathon blues, I did the only thing I could think of…sign up for another one! I’m officially running the Long Beach Marathon in October, which will be the perfect motivation to start my training when I get back from Africa.

Off to calculate some caloric expenditure for exercise physiology! Happy (almost) weekend!

LA Marathon!

19 Mar

You know you ran a marathon when…

  • Your arms are sore from lifting yourself in and out of chairs.
  • You find yourself avoiding curbs and stairs at all costs
  • You’re still craving carbs even after the carb-loading is over
  •  You can barely walk, yet you’re already planning your next marathon

Yesterday I finished my 4th marathon, the Honda LA Marathon from stadium to sea. In the days leading up to the race, the weather reports were looking more and more daunting, and I couldn’t fathom the thought of running in a rainstorm for the second time. When Spencer and I arrived at the expo on Saturday morning, it was pouring, and as I sloshed through puddles to get my bib, my excitement began to dwindle.

I woke up at 4:00 am on Sunday morning and nervously opened the blinds…only to see a clear sky. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I suddenly had a good feeling about this race. Spencer drove me to Dodger stadium, and despite the fact that it was 5:15 am, it took us almost an hour and a half to get there, thanks to race traffic! It was freezing when I got out of the car, but it was almost 7:00 am, so I hurried over to the seeded corrals. Because of my 3:54 time last year, I made it into the “B” corral, which is the 2nd best starting position, not including the elites. After what felt like an eternity, the gun sounded, and we were off. The first half of the race went smoothly, and the miles seemed to fly by, but by mile 13, things started to go downhill. My quads decided that they were extremely unhappy with the cold weather, and they started to spasm and cramp. I had so much energy, and the rest of me felt great, but the pain in my legs grew worse with each step. I needed to stretch them every mile to keep going, so I ended up finishing in 4:07, but I was still happy with that given the circumstances. The weather was fantastic, and the cheering crowds kept me going when I felt like giving up, but the highlight was my support crew. My parents met me at mile 16, my dad at mile 24, and Spencer and my mom at the finish line.

After being wrapped in a space blanket and handed my medal and a banana, I staggered through the crowd until Spencer rescued me and got me to the car. I spent the rest of the day eating and relaxing, and today it was back to the real world.

I never thought I would say this yesterday…but I already can’t wait until the next one!

Adventures

11 Mar

Hello again! Sorry for the blog lag…I realize that it’s been forever since I’ve posted, and so much has happened that I honestly don’t even know where to start.

So I guess I’ll start with the biggest news…I applied for a research fellowship in Ghana this summer, and somehow I was accepted! I found out yesterday, and I’m still somewhat in shock, but I cannot begin to describe the excitement. Africa has been a far off dream of mine for a long time, and I can’t believe it’s actually happening. I will be spending five weeks designing and implementing a research project, and while I don’t know the specifics of my topic yet, it looks like it will focus on sustainable agriculture and nutrition. I leave at the end of May, so the next few months will be filled with researching, planning, packing, and taking long, hot showers while I still can.

And speaking of travel…tonight my dad and I went to the O2 for Life benefit at the Bellyup Tavern, and I was immediately filled with Costa Rica nostalgia. The room was filled with tropical plants, the band was bumping Costa Rican music, and the food table was filled with beans, rice, & caramelized plantains. The three weeks I spent in Costa Rica four years ago changed my life in unimaginable ways (including helping land the Africa fellowship!), and I have missed it since the day I left. As the music dimmed and the silent auction began, I noticed a trip to the O2 for Life Rainforest reserve listed on the auction brochure. Nestled on the Osa Peninsula and unavailable to the public, this reserve was a place of magic and beauty that I will never forget. I jokingly told my dad that he should bid…and he did…and we won! I never thought I would be able to return to the reserve, and I can’t believe that I have the opportunity to go back and share this amazing place with my family.

On the running front…the one-week countdown to the marathon has officially begun! Today was the last “long” run of the season (8 miles), and as I looked out over the coast this morning, I suddenly got extremely excited about the race.  Even though this will be my fourth marathon, the challenge never grows any smaller, and I feel like I have to re-teach myself how to mentally prepare each time. Tomorrow starts taper week, and despite the minimal amount of running, I’m going to try not to fall victim to the “taper blues.” Dinners each night with friends combined with cleaning, organizing, and an overwhelming amount of studying should keep me busy enough.

PLUS, I have two new books to read! It’s been forever since I’ve picked up a good book, and on a whim, I decided to start The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Waltz This Way.

Well, that’s all the news for now…off to dive into one of these novels before I forget what it’s like to read for pleasure! 🙂

Happy 1st day of spring! 🙂